In The News South Africa

New suspect added to heist gang during court proceedings

JOHANNESBURG, MARCH 28 (ANA) – Another suspect was added to the OR Tambo heist case during proceedings at the Kempton Park Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.

When the court proceedings resumed after the lunch break, a man who was arrested on Sunday, was brought into the court room and his charge sheet was written.

His case was postponed to Wednesday in order for him to receive legal representation.

Earlier, during the bail application investigating officer Colonel Mabina Mahlangu revealed in his affidavit that R20.7 million was stolen in the heist, and the reports of R24 million in foreign currency were false.

The affidavit also mentioned that cash from the heist was found in possession of the girlfriends of both Prince Dube and Thando Sonqishe.

Dube, 43, Sonqishe, 39, are allegedly part of the gang suspected of being involved in what is considered one of South Africa’s biggest heists.

The court heard that R13,000 was found at Sonqishe’s girlfriend’s residence, while R1 million was found under a washing machine at Dube’s girlfriend’s home. Mahlangu said that Standard Bank confirmed that the notes were linked to the heist.

Dube’s girlfriend said that she did not enquire about where the money came from.

Prosecutor Pieter Erasmus read that both men had previously been involved in various crimes which included fraud and armed robbery.

Earlier, Sonqishe told the court that he had no previous run-ins with the law.

Mahlangu’s affidavit said that Dube was undocumented and was a Zimbabwean national who came into South Africa illegally, was unemployed, and used false documentation to receive money.

The court heard that Dube was employed as a stand exhibitionist and was earning R400,000 per month.

When Dube was arrested, he was found with an identity document that belonged to another person but had his picture. He was previously convicted of fraud and drunken driving.

When he was arrested, Dube was allegedly found with a SPV bullet proof vest, allegedly admitted that the vehicle used was branded like an South African Police Service vehicle, and he allegedly had a “safe house” where the heist vehicles were modified.

Sonqishe allegedly supplied the blue police lights. When they were arrested, both men allegedly admitted to being part of the planning and execution of the heist.

Seven men linked to the case are expected to appear in court on Wednesday, one of which had his charges dropped then later reinstated.

Court adjourned to Wednesday.

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